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Why Goldberg Refused To Face Chris Jericho In WCW

Goldberg Chris Jericho WCW Fight

During a recent episode of his weekly ’83 Weeks’ podcast, former WCW President Eric Bischoff revealed why the storyline feud between Bill Goldberg and Chris Jericho went nowhere in 1998.

A match between the two stars did not take place until 2003, when they wrestled each other in WWE.

Here’s what Bischoff said about this 1998 WCW rivalry:

“This was Jericho’s idea. So much of what Jericho is doing during this period of time was really Jericho’s idea. It was his creative, from Ralphus and all of the things that Jericho did that we remember were Jericho’s ideas. This was not really created for him, certainly not by me. And I doubt that Kevin Sullivan had a lot to do with it. That’s not taking anything away from me or Kevin Sullivan. But Chris was really, really — he was emerging as a very creative guy with a good instinct, great instinct. It’s also probably what led to Chris leaving WCW.

So this creative story and Chris’ input and pushing and what we saw there was highly freaking entertaining. But Bill just for whatever reason, don’t really know. A couple of guesses, but Bill just wouldn’t do it (have a match with Jericho). And it’s really unfortunate because I think Chris could have made Bill. I think Chris could have given an added dimension to Bill. Again, we’re going to go back to chemistry. Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan. CM Punk, Elite. The same thing.

What could have been if everybody had just checked their egos at the door and thought about the opportunity itself and what the opportunity could do long term for everybody, themselves and each other in the company and the fans, could have been freaking awesome. And who knows? Chris may have stuck around WCW. It’s better for him that he didn’t, by the way. Truth be known. But this was the catalyst for Chris deciding to write me a goodbye letter and take his talents elsewhere. As hard as I tried to keep Chris because I did, I offered him quite a bit to stay, but he was determined to go and I think he was right. Chris made a wise decision, a great career move.

Jericho doesn’t take s**t from anybody. He doesn’t, I think at his core, I don’t think Chris wants to fight anybody or is a fighter by choice. But that doesn’t mean he’s not good at it. And I think Bill disrespected Chris. Well, I know he did. And Chris wasn’t going to tolerate that. I think the reason Bill disrespected Chris, and this is going to come out so f**king wrong. It’s going to come out right the way I mean it, but it will be heard differently by different people and probably certainly by Bill himself. Just add another guy to the list I used to work with that’s pissed me off. But I got to call it like I feel it.

I think Bill was intimidated by Chris. Not physically, not in a real fight necessarily. But I think Chris was so good and had so much depth. Not only as a performer, but he could do technically in the ring. I mean, he was gifted at an early age. But I think Bill was intimidated by that. And Bill’s way of dealing with being intimidated is to go into Bill Goldberg mode and shut it all down. That’s what happened. It’s just a lack of respect, and insecurity on Bill’s part. And I say insecurity, I mean as a performer. Because let’s face it, Bill was still really new at this point. It’s not like Bill had been in the business for five or six or eight years at this point like Chris had.

Bill was still learning every single minute. From the minute he walked into the building to the minute he went home, he was in a learning mode. And he compensated for that, because he was Bill and he was intimidating, and he could be. But at his core, I think he was insecure at this stage of his career he was insecure with what — he was aware of what he didn’t know and wasn’t capable of and didn’t want to compromise that because it might expose him. I sound like a shrink, but that’s my honest feeling. Chris was a great guy. Is a great guy to this day. And so is Bill. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t insecurities at this point in Bill’s career.

And again, not because Bill had any doubt in his physical ability or his ability as a man, but because he knew he was limited in the ring and he wanted to get, and Chris wanted to have a match with him in a program. Which would have required that Bill adapt his style and work differently to work with a guy like Chris and make it work and make it make sense. And I don’t think Bill was ready for that consciously or maybe it was subconsciously. That’s what I think happened.”

In 2003, their paths crossed again, this time in WWE. Jericho’s egotistical attitude clashed with Goldberg’s dominant presence, resulting in a heated feud that saw them face off at the WWE Bad Blood 2003 pay-per-view.

Goldberg defeated Y2J via pinfall after 10 minutes and 53 seconds and went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship at the Unforgiven PPV a few months later.

A day after his title win, Bill successfully defended his championship against Jericho on RAW, in what would was their second and final singles match against each other.

Also Read: WCW Legend Defends Goldberg – Says Wrestling Business Is Not About Who’s The Best Wrestler

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